The Wall - carleton97

Chapter One

7:01 pm

Fox Mulder slammed the door to his apartment behind him and carefully engaged each of the locks, including the chain. Not even pausing to remove his overcoat or loosen his colorful tie, he began a frantic inspection of each of the rooms. He turned on every light in the apartment as he opened closet doors and kicked through loose piles of clothing and clutter. He even went so far as to look under his rarely used bed. When his search revealed nothing more than his own lackadaisical housekeeping skills, he returned to the living room and closed the blinds with a vicious tug. He checked the locks on the front door again, wedging his desk chair under the knob for good measure. Satisfied he was secure, he leaned heavily against the door, exhausted. He ran his fingers through his already tousled hair and pressed the heels of his hands against his eyes. He felt pursued, hunted. As well he should.

Twenty-five hours and twenty-two minutes ago, Dana Scully had decided enough was enough. Enough games, enough innuendoes, enough flirtation. Twenty-five hours and twenty-two minutes ago, Dana Scully had declared war.

5:39 pm

Scully slammed the report she had been trying to read down on the desk, obvious irritation and barely hidden arousal pinkening her cheeks. "That's it. I've had enough."

"What?" Mulder looked up innocently and flicked a shelled sunflower seed towards the garbage, as if he hadn't just suggested an X-rated and physically improbable use for her new desk. As if he hadn't spent the better part of the day leering and flirting and generally begging for a sexual harassment charge.

He couldn't really help himself, though. The landscape of both his dreams and nightmares had been populated solely by her ever since their adventure in the Antarctic. Last night's torture had been another rerun of their near miss in his hallway, only without the bee and with drastically different results. Torrid did not begin to describe it.

He couldn't remember turning off his alarm the first time it rang, but he must have, because when his throbbing hard-on finally woke him, he had only 10 minutes to shower, dress, and make it in to work. Hardly enough time to complete the hygienic basics and not enough time to remedy his problem. Luckily, time and his frigid shower had been sufficient to shrink his erection to a less noticeable state.

That changed the moment she entered the office, though. She breezed in, smelling not of that wonderfully heady mixture of sex and him as she had in his dream, but of soap and flowery cologne, and his mostly subdued arousal perked up with interest.

He was bored with the seemingly endless cycle of paperwork and requisitions and she was irresistible. Goaded on by the devil between his legs, he was on his worst behavior. He loved watching the color steal into her cheeks as he pushed the envelope of flirtation. And this was his Scully. She took his crap with little more than an exasperated sigh and a raised eyebrow.

Until now.

"What?" She mimicked perfectly, all raised eyebrows and pouting mouth, betraying both how often he had employed that particular expression and how often she had copied it behind his back. She held this facsimile of his expression for a second before both eyebrows slammed down and her mouth thinned. "I've had enough of your empty leering and your tacky double entendres, your meaningless flirting and your innocent touches."

As she stood up behind her desk, Mulder panicked. He should have known that last comment was beyond the pale. Had he finally pushed her too far? Had his mostly innocent teasing succeeded where Flukemen and interstellar conspiracies had failed?

Deep inside of him, there was a tiny, ruined part of his psyche he kept separate and closed off from her, a desperate and hopeless part of his soul that always expected her to leave, to finally realize he wasn't worthy of her. This scarred bit of him began a joyless celebration at this sign of her abandonment, her disloyalty.

Scully saw his fear and desolation but, for once, could spare him no sympathy, no reassurances. She could, however, set him straight. "I'm not leaving, Mulder, but you might wish I would by the time I'm done with you."

Mulder's relief was nearly overwhelming. He didn't know what had brought on her sudden pronouncement, but he could handle anything as long as she stayed with him. All of his cocky self- confidence returned with her assurance. He leaned back in his chair, hands behind his head, positive he was ready for whatever she was planning, "What do you have up your sleeve, Agent Scully?"

She began with a slow perusal of his body that had him shifting uncomfortably, her eyes lingering and darkening as they passed his hips, his chest, his mouth. She licked her lips and began strolling slowly across the room, her hips rolling in a way he had only ever dreamed of. His eyes skimmed down her figure, feminine and strong in a black suit, her small stature accentuated by a pair of impossibly high black heels, what he privately termed her 'hooker shoes.'

"I think a better question, Agent Mulder, is what am I wearing under this confining wool suit?"

It was odd. With everything he'd seen, everything he'd experienced, he had never really been completely slack-jawed until this moment. She paused in the middle of the room, satisfied with the shock that was rapidly replacing confidence on his features as his hands left their post behind his head to rest on his thighs. She resumed her casual walk across the room, glad for whatever prescient impulse had made her put on her sexiest shoes this morning. "I was thinking of you when I got dressed this morning, that must be what possessed me to put on what I did. I love red, but lace is so scratchy and garters are just so...inconvenient."

Actually, today was a white cotton day, and her nylons, her last pair, were held together by a complex system of prayer and clear nail polish, but Mulder didn't need to know that. Oh, she was going to have her wicked way with him, but she had to get back some of her own first.

"You've finally got your answer, Mulder. I want you."

Though a million and one fantasies were fighting for precedence behind his eyes, all Mulder could feel was the blinding panic of wish fulfillment. He had dreamed of this moment, had scripted out every possible permutation of its evolution, but never in nearly two thousand nights had he imagined this scenario.

He wanted her, of that there could be no doubt. More than that, though, he wanted her safe and happy, two things she could never be with him. Two things he would never deny her just to fulfill his own selfish desires.

She ended her mind boggling walk directly in front of him and planted her hands on the arms of his chair. Leaning forward, she allowed the front of her v- necked blouse to droop just enough to get his attention. With her lips caressing the sensitive flesh of his ear, she whispered, "Now I want my answer."

The silken promise in her voice drew his eyes to hers as she moved back from his ear. She was so close he could feel the warmth of her breath as it feathered across his cheek. So close he could see the slow dilation of her pupils as she traced his features with her eyes. So close he could smell the scent of her growing arousal. Her tongue snaked out to moisten her lips, distracting him briefly from the desire growing in her eyes.

He raised his eyes back to hers only to close them when she lowered her own lids and moved forward. For an agonizing second, there was nothing and he thought she had only been teasing, giving him a taste of his own medicine. For an agonizing second, he sent a jumbled stream of prayers and entreaties up to whatever might be listening. pleaseohpleasegod...

He jumped at the first feather-light touch of her lips, and felt, rather than saw her mouth curve upwards in a brief smile at his less than suave reaction.

She was killing him. He had been dreading, hoping for the damp pressure of her mouth against his, the firm, wet slide of lips and tongue and teeth. Instead, she simply circled her open mouth around the general vicinity of his, not quite touching him, but bathing his lips with her moist breath. From just this incidental contact, the erection he had been resisting all day reappeared with a nearly painful rush of blood and he forgot they were in the office, forgot the thousands of reasons he had for staying away from her, forgot the millions of reasons he didn't deserve her.

Despite his hypersensitive state of arousal, the patterned brush and retreat of her oddly soothing seduction did not prepare him for her next assault. The serpentine slide of her tongue through his defenses, combined with the gossamer brush of her fingertips over the tip of his erection, was too much for him. With a yelp, he bolted up from his chair and quickly put several feet between them.

Aroused to the point of stupor herself from a few almost kisses, Scully nearly groaned at the picture he presented, obvious panic warring with his barely leashed desire. His hands were clenched over the top of the chair he was hiding the most blatant sign of his arousal behind. His eyes, though nearly black with desire, were wide and blinking confusedly. God, he was cute sometimes.

No longer bothering to conceal her feelings, she stared into his eyes as she slowly straightened, letting him see everything; her desire, her passion, her affection. She wanted to devour him with her senses; to brand him with the heat of her touch, to watch as she shattered then mended the shards of him, to feel the ecstatic tremors of his voice vibrate through her head, to sate herself on the bittersweet tang of his skin, to drown in the undertow of his scent.

But not quite yet. She had to be careful, she almost hadn't let him pull away. As it was, she was going to have a long, sticky ride home. Taking control of her rebellious body, she licked the salty vestiges of his sunflower seed kisses from her lips and smiled ferally at her partner, "Tomorrow, Mulder."

His eyes narrowed at the anticipation inherent in her voice. He opened his mouth to say something, anything to regain some of his lost composure, but all conscious thought ceased when she crossed the room with long strides and leaned all the way over her desk to snag her coat and briefcase before exiting the room without another word.

Mulder stood rooted to the ground for several minutes before coherent thought returned with a vengeance.

'You are in big trouble, buddy.'

6:52 pm

Scully stood in front of her open closet, surveying her options. There weren't many.

Tomorrow was Friday, and since they were to be shackled to paperwork once again, that meant Casual Day. She wanted her intentions to be crystal clear; Mulder sometimes needed to be smacked upside the head with the 2x4 of his precious truth. She couldn't exactly waltz into the Hoover Building poured into something little, black, and vinyl, though. Even if old J.Edgar had been partial to such proclivities himself.

Not that she had any black vinyl in her closet.

Like Scully, her closet was a study of organization. Her business clothes took up most of the space. Arranged from left to right, lightest to darkest, were pantsuits then skirts, shells then blouses. All were hung on thick, padded wooden hangers to minimize wrinkling.

To separate work clothes from casual clothes, Scully had a cabinet about two feet wide installed from floor to ceiling. Each of the nearly two dozen shelves held two shoe boxes with a Polaroid of the appropriate pair of shoes neatly taped to the outside.

On the other side of this cabinet were her casual clothes; blouses and pants, thin sweaters and skirts, a couple of pairs of jeans, those wretched little pearl button cardigans her mother kept buying her.

Most of her play clothes were either too casual or too boring for what she had in mind. Then the shimmer of light green silk caught her eye and she began to smile.

Tomorrow was going to be fun.

7:52 pm

Sweat ran down Mulder in tiny rivulets as he circled the track, soaking his t- shirt and running tights. He had stayed at work for nearly an hour after Scully had left, trying to lose himself in the tedium of filing, but to no avail. His thoughts had pounded through him, gaining momentum with each successive pass. Torturous thoughts, illogical thoughts. 'You're no good for her. If you cared you'd get out of her life. You can only hurt her.'

When the endless repetition became too much to bear, he left their office for the high school track near his apartment and ran. He ran until all he could hear was his own strained breathing. He ran until all he could see was the horizon bouncing in the distance. He ran until all he could feel were his knees shuddering from the jarring impact of shoes against asphalt. He ran until he thought he was going to puke and then he ran two more miles. That seemed to do the trick. He managed to walk back to his apartment on shaky legs before collapsing on his couch in a sweaty, exhausted heap.

He was contemplating taking a shower when she called. Not thinking, he answered the phone with his customary, "Mulder."

"Mulder, it's me." He stifled a groan and threw a forearm over his eyes. What had he ever done to deserve this? As if he didn't know.

Scully continued as if she hadn't heard his non-verbal protest, "I'm standing here in my bedroom, naked, and scattered before me is an array of lingerie so vast and varied my head is spinning. I need your opinion."

Drained as he was, he hadn't thought arousal possible. Almost immediately, though, his blood abandoned his weakened extremities and began to pool in his groin. He whimpered a little bit as she paused for breath, "The first option is simple, but nice; a royal blue satin bra and panties. I believe you saw it's light green cousin on our first case."

Despite his best efforts, a little involuntary grunt of masculine pleasure escaped him as he remembered that night in Oregon. God, she had been breathtaking. It had taken all of his self-control to keep his reaction to her under wraps. Almost of its own volition, his hand inched its way down his body to stroke the erection stirring beneath the lycra of his pants.

"I felt like such a moron that night, running to you in my underwear, but I have to confess, a slightly altered version of that scenario has become one of my top ten fantasies."

Christ. She fantasized about him. Scully's voice had begun to thicken with desire and Mulder was unable to restrain himself from echoing her confession in a strained voice, "Me too."

She considered his response for a moment, "The second option is rather pretty, I think; a lovely lace edged white camisole with matching tap pants. It's a bit...innocent, though. We can play that if you want, but I think that little game will have to wait a while."

His groan was a little deeper this time and the urgency of his caresses increased for a moment. Frustrated with the barrier of his clothes, Mulder supported the phone with his shoulder as he tried to extricate himself from the snug running pants.

Scully cleared her throat, but there remained the vestiges of an aroused huskiness to her voice, "Final option; black lace teddy with matching thigh high stockings."

He froze for a second as the image of Scully encased in black lace burned itself onto his retinas. He let out a ragged moan that might have been her name as he finally freed himself from the constricting garment. He wrapped his hand around his penis and tugged experimentally, his harsh breath condensing on the mouthpiece of the phone. He was really close.

"Thank you, Mulder, this was quite enlightening." Then she was gone. Mulder didn't even bother to hang up the phone. Oblivious to the dial tone droning in his ear, he abandoned himself to his body's relentless drive towards orgasm, accompanied by Scully's beckoning form.


Scully hung up the phone, the sound of Mulder's ragged breathing echoing in her ears.

Tomorrow was going to be so much fun.

Chapter Two

9:48 am

Today was going to suck.

Mulder leaned his head against the back of his car seat and tried to keep his eyes open as he inched his way through traffic. He had managed to fall asleep sometime before dawn, but slept through his alarm and was now a good two hours late for work. Visions of a lingerie clad Scully had been tormenting him ever since he had almost ruptured something vital in his struggle to free himself from his running tights while still keeping the phone pressed to his ear. She was lucky she had hung up when she did. It hadn't taken very long at all to temporarily relieve the pressure that was even now rebuilding itself inside him.

Scully had decided she wanted him and was determined to have him. Determined Scully would lie to Congress to protect him and drive his injured ass across the country in search of The Truth, whatever that was. Determined Scully scared him.

Today was really going to suck.


The minute he stepped off the elevator in the basement, Mulder knew she was in the building somewhere. It wasn't that big of an intuitive leap considering it was after 10 am, but he could practically smell her anticipation. He was a little surprised she wasn't actually laying in wait for him in their office, but her coat was on its hanger and there was fresh coffee in the pot, so he knew she was near. Thankfully, whatever deity or supreme being was holding court that day had decided to grant him these few minutes to gather up the tatters of his cloak of control before she launched her next attack.

His respite was disconcertingly short, though. He had just finished hanging up his coat and pouring a cup of coffee when she waltzed in. The sight of her was like pouring gas on the dry tinder of his libido. Her hair, instead of tamed into submission by heat and Aveda as it usually was, fell in gentle waves to the light green collar of her blouse.

Her silky, body hugging, one-open-button-too-many, blouse.

Struck dumb, he got caught in the shadowy depths of cleavage revealed by her blouse for a moment. Almost against his will, his eyes left her chest and completed their catalogue of her attire. Her shirt was perfectly tailored to hug every one of her trim curves without gaping at the buttons. It ended precisely at the fullest part of her hips, accentuating her mini-hourglass figure. Her skirt was black, and long enough to reach her ankles. He breathed a sigh of relief at its apparent sedateness until she shifted and three facts plowed through him simultaneously. One: Her shoes had a good three inch heel on them and there was a little strappy thing that encircled her ankle. Two: The skirt was made of that shiny, stretchy knit that faithfully clung to every dip and swell of her lower body. Three: The skirt was slit just high enough on the left side that he _knew_ he was going to go blind today trying to see more.

Unbidden, the lyrics from a song sprung into his head. //Hike up your skirt a little more and show your world to me.// He didn't know the band or even the rest of the song, but it was so apropos he had to smile a little despite the breakneck speed of his arousal.

Scully stood silently through his perusal, shifting only enough to expose a good length of thigh to his hungry gaze. His eyes were now focused on the top of the split in her skirt, as if he was trying to get a glimpse of her panties, or lack thereof, by virtue of eyestrain alone. And she supposed he was.

God, he was lickable sometimes. He had either decided to eschew Casual Day, or had forgotten about it, because he had on her favorite dark gray suit. The one that hugged his broad shoulders and accentuated his trim hips. He was even wearing her favorite tie. It was colorful, of course, but not as tacky or garish as some of his others were. She thought it was a Jerry Garcia. She moved again, this time shifting her weight to her right leg and allowing her skirt to fall open all along her bent left leg. A little noise, somewhere between a groan and a whimper seemed to come from the middle of his chest.

"See anything you like, Mulder?"

He lifted his eyes to hers blankly, barely able to blink, and nodded spasmodically. Scully smiled in delight and waved the plate of pastries she had in her hand under his nose. "Doughnuts, Mulder. It's Rita from Legal's birthday today. I ran into the celebration on my way back from Skinner's office."

Mulder nodded and was reaching absently for a jelly doughnut when her words finally pierced the haze of lust clouding his mind. "Skinner's office? You were upstairs?"

'Great. Perfect. Now I'm going to have to kill my boss and everyone upstairs.' Mulder had a brief vision of himself as a cranky postal worker before sanity walked back in the door.

"He had some questions on one of the reports we filed earlier in the week." Not that he had been all that verbal once she sat down and crossed her legs. She hadn't meant anything by her movements, but it was gratifying, nonetheless. She thought he was going to have a stroke, though, the way the vein in his temple had begun to throb and pulse. She giggled a little and moved out of the doorway, managing to brush every inch of her body against Mulder's in the process. She left him standing there as she put the plate on his desk and removed the custard-filled bismark for herself. He hadn't turned around yet, so she jumped up and sat on the corner of her desk, crossed her legs, and began eating her treat.

Mulder could hear her moving around behind him, but didn't want to turn around yet. His skin felt hot and too tight and he knew that if he looked down, Marty would be making his oblivious presence known. The cell phone in his pocket chirped happily, jolting him out of his misery and a good inch off the ground. It had time to let out two more beeping rings before he was able to yank it out of his pocket. "Mulder."

"Agent Mulder, it's Assistant Director Skinner. Is Agent Scully down there with you?"

Reflexively, Mulder turned to look at his partner. Just in time to see her scoop a fingerful of custard out of her doughnut and suck it off her index finger. "Unnnhh..."

"I'll take that as a yes. I want to see you in my office immediately."

Scully scooped more custard out of her doughnut and extended her finger to Mulder. Despite the voices in his head crying for caution, he moved forward, unthinkingly heeding her siren's call. He was less than a foot from her outstretched hand when one of the voices in his head suddenly began to sound like Skinner, "Agent Mulder! Are you there?"

Mulder looked from the phone in his hand to Scully's custard-covered finger and back again before smiling weakly, "The bossman calleth. Gotta go, bye." Then he bolted out the door as if the very flames of perdition were lapping at his heels.

Mouth agape at his hasty exit, Scully listened to the echo of the slamming door before absently licking the custard off her finger and moving to sit in her chair. This was not going exactly as she had expected. He was a bit more panic- stricken than she would have liked. She knew there was nothing wrong with her outfit, in fact, she thought it was perfect. The custard doughnut was a stroke of luck even she couldn't have planned, and she had planned today's seduction down to the letter. Perhaps this afternoon's activities would loosen Mulder up a little. She shrugged off the niggling guilt she felt at her shameless manipulation of his testosterone. It wasn't like she was going to leave him hanging. And at least she could get some work done while he was off doing...whatever.


Skinner gazed absently at the report in front of him, unable to concentrate on it. Unable to concentrate on anything, really, since Agent Scully's visit this morning. He almost hadn't recognized her when she walked in his office. Though her behavior had been nothing short of professional, he had trouble reconciling no-nonsense Agent Scully with the woman he had talked with this morning. He had written it off at first until he remembered the Van Blundht case. He knew he had been supervising the X-Files too long when he began to wonder if the real Scully wasn't locked in a closet somewhere. So he called the only person who knew Dana Scully better than she knew herself.

The buzz of his intercom interrupted his thoughts and he told Kimberly to send Mulder in. He motioned Mulder into a chair and sat back, studying his agent. Mulder looked a little jumpy, but that wasn't anything new. Skinner narrowed his eyes as he realized Mulder was still clutching his cell phone in his hand like a talisman. "Are you expecting a call, Agent Mulder?"

Confused, Mulder looked down and saw the phone. He flushed and shoved it into his pocket. "You wanted to see me, Sir?"

Skinner shifted uncomfortably and lowered his eyes, unsure of how to begin this conversation, "I conferred with Agent Scully earlier this morning about one of your reports."

"I believe she mentioned that to me."

"I was wondering..." Skinner trailed off for a moment and he looked uncomfortable, "Her...demeanor seemed a bit unusual. Do you know what could be causing this?"

Mulder hesitated, obviously debating the various answers he could give. After a moment, it became clear he had decided evasive was his best bet, "I'm sure Agent Scully would be better qualified to answer that than I am."

Skinner scowled, displeased with Mulder's answer, but he wasn't ready to force the issue yet. Not until he knew whether she was just acting goofy or if there was some darker reason for her behavior. "All right, Mulder. Dismissed."

2:47 pm

Mulder paused in front of their office door, berating himself for being afraid to go in. Admittedly, he had taken the coward's way out by going over to VCS directly from Skinner's office to renew some old contacts, then by joining them for lunch, but now he felt energized, prepared for whatever was next. He opened the door and walked confidently in. He smiled casually at his partner, "Hey, Scully."

She smiled when she saw him, an honest, happy-to-see-you smile and then went back to whatever she was diligently typing away at. He breathed a sigh of relief and sat down at his desk, flipping on his computer. During one of their rare downtimes a couple of years ago, he had run across some sound pages on the Web. Now, instead of generic chimes and beeps, his machine communicated with him through a complex series of movie quotations and random noises. He kept the volume turned way down because Scully had told him in no uncertain terms how annoying it was, but he thought it was fun to be greeted with *They're here!*

Grabbing a bag of sunflower seeds from his seemingly inexhaustible supply, he settled in to work, opening the first report on his pile. After the events of the past twenty or so hours, even the tedium of an expense report seemed more comforting than confining. Looking at the stack in front of him, he felt a bit guilty about wasting most of the day running away from Scully like he was 8 and she had the dreaded cooties. Besides, she was his partner. It wasn't like she was going to shoot him.

A good hour later, Cleavon Little announced incoming email, *Excuse me while I whip this out.*


Subject: what are you wearing?

Boxers or briefs? I've seen you in both, but I just want today's mental images to correlate.


The paperwork zone Mulder had been in evaporated instantly and he nearly gave himself whiplash turning to stare at his partner. Scully gave no indication of interest in his reaction to her email, though, and continued about her busywork. He read the message again, valiantly trying to keep both himself and Scully fully dressed in his mind's eye. How was he supposed to react to something like this? For several long seconds his mind spun like a hamster's exercise wheel, making a lot of noise, but ultimately getting nowhere. Finally, something inside of him snapped. He was the King of Innuendo, dammit. This was his territory she was encroaching on. If she thought she could compete with him, she was sadly mistaken. With renewed courage, he turned to his keyboard.


Subject: wouldn't you like to know...

I have to congratulate you on your daring strategy last night, I never thought you had it in you. The killer instinct that is.


Scully mentally rubbed her hands together. So Mulder had finally decided two can play this game. It was about time. His little jaunt this afternoon must have strengthened his resolve. She was going to have to show him just how rough the big girls could play.


Subject: self-abuse

You sounded rather...out of breath when I hung up the phone last night. I hope you didn't hurt anything I'm planning to make use of.


Mulder tried not to react to her message, he really did, but the sunflower seed shell he inhaled when he read her message refused to cooperate with his efforts. When he finally stopped coughing and gasping for air, he felt a momentary return of fear at her early use of the big guns, but reassured himself that what he read was evidence of her own panic. She had shot her figurative wad with that last message. There was no way she had any other ammunition. He would be magnanimous, though. He'd offer her an out. He'd lie through his teeth, but he'd offer her an out.


Subject: self-control

Ahh, Scully. As enjoyable as your descriptions were, do you really think I'm so easily aroused? Fetching though you may be, if the mere suggestion of a pretty woman in lingerie was enough to send me into such a state, I'd be in sorry shape most of the time, don't you think?


Scully couldn't believe what she was reading. That dumb bastard thought she was bluffing. If he believed she was going to back down, that she was only teasing, he had another thing coming. She closed her eyes for a moment to focus herself, then began typing.


Subject: fantasies

That's too bad, my strategy must not have been all that daring. I wanted to leave you gasping, unable to think of anything but me. I wanted you to wish my hand, my mouth, any part of me was there to caress you. I wanted your mind as full of images of us together as mine is. I wanted you to feel your desire burn so fiercely that you had no option but to relieve it. In short, I wanted to leave you in the same state you leave me in every day. If you were in any other condition last night, I'm not trying hard enough. I'm up to the challenge, though, are you?


Mulder couldn't stop himself from compulsively reading the message a second, then a third time. He brought his hands up to the keyboard, knowing he had to reply, but unable to control the fine tremors coursing through him. Jesus, if she tried any harder, he'd be dead. He had never expected such a vivid declaration of desire from her and was having trouble thinking, let alone framing a reply. He chanced looking over at her and found her staring straight at him, her hands folded on her desk. He opened his mouth to answer the questions in her eyes, but was cut off by the ringing of his office phone. He jerked as if he'd been shocked and closed his eyes to regain a bit of his composure before answering, "Mulder."

"Agent Mulder, it's Assistant Director Skinner. I'd like to have a word with you. Would you meet me outside the building immediately?"

"Outside the building?"

"Don't ask any questions, just meet me there."

"Yes, sir," Mulder kept his eyes closed as he fumbled to hang the phone up. He could feel Scully's questioning gaze, but he didn't trust himself to look at her just yet, so he offered an explanation as he turned back to his computer, "Skinner wants to see me again." He typed for a few moments, then stood and left without another word.

Scully stared at the door until a quiet chime from her computer told her she had email waiting.


Subject: we're not done with this

I don't know what you want from me.


Didn't know what she wanted from him? Scully frowned in the direction of his desk before raising her eyes to the heavens for assistance. She should have brought the damn 2x4.


Skinner paced impatiently outside the front doors of the building. He hoped he had gotten through to Mulder before anything had happened. Through the glass doors, he saw Mulder sprint across the lobby and barrel through the doors, nearly running over a pack of tourists in the process. He skidded to a stop in front of Skinner, nearly falling on his ass. Skinner stared in shock at his wayward agent. Mulder was breathing hard from his run through the building, there was a look of naked panic on his face, and, Jesus, he was doing his best to conceal a half-mast erection. In a blinding flash, the pieces fell together and Skinner rapidly reassessed his previous assumptions. He had spent all day thinking about Agent Scully's behavior and had called Mulder out here with the belief that someone other than Scully was inhabiting her body right now. Hell, weirder shit had happened in the five years he had overseen the X-Files, but his sudden intuition told him this was even weirder than body switching. "Sit down, Agent Mulder."

Mulder perched on the edge of a low planter and regarded his superior as he paced in front of him. Thoughts began whizzing through his head faster than he could process them. 'God, Skinner was a big guy when you looked up at him. He looks cranky. How does Scully stand up to him all the time? His head is shiny. I hope this isn't about her. I don't want to fight him for her. He'd kick my ass. But Scully wouldn't let that happen. I wonder if she's wearing a black teddy?'

Mulder shook his head to clear it of such thoughts and focused on Skinner, who was staring at him with a strange mixture of anger and pity. "What?"

"You really are a dumb shit, aren't you?"

"Excuse me?"

Skinner wasn't sure this was the best tack to take, but he'd already fired the first salvo so he forged ahead, "Look at you, you're a mess. I wish you could see the look on your face. You'd think she just announced she was leaving the FBI to do missionary work in Zaire. I never thought I'd say this, but I'm ashamed of you. All your talk of extreme possibilities, for what? For you to run screaming at the prospect of the most extreme possibility out there."

Abruptly, Skinner stopped his rant and sat on the planter next to Mulder, "Look, Mulder, I know you've got plenty of reasons to be wary of taking the next step, but they're all bullshit. The only thing that would justify running away from her is not caring at all, and you'd never convince anyone of that."

Mulder felt the first insistent nudges of total, mind-numbing fear. How the hell did Skinner know what was going on? "But They-"

"Frankly, Mulder, fuck Them and the BMW's they were chauffeured in on. What more could be done to either of you? You've both been abducted, brutalized, and damn near killed more times than I care to count. Scully's been abducted, jailed, survived cancer, and had her sister murdered. Your sister is gone, your father murdered, and your life more or less sacrificed on the altar of Their schemes and lies. What more could happen? And would it hurt any less if you remain as you are now?"

Though Skinner's words made logical sense, Mulder felt the entire situation slip completely from his grasp. He was sitting outside FBI Headquarters getting tacit, hell, explicit approval from his boss to pursue a romantic relationship with his partner. A part of him registered that Skinner was still talking, but he wasn't really paying attention to anything except the tidal wave of panic engulfing him. All he needed now was a lesson in the birds and the bees from the Smoking Man and his day would be complete.

Skinner broke off his increasingly rambling recitation when he realized Mulder wasn't really listening to him and hadn't been for awhile. In fact, Mulder was rocking slightly and seemed to be muttering to himself about bees and salvation. "Mulder? Mulder, are you alright?"

Mulder was jerked out of his swiftly degenerating reverie by a hand on his shoulder. "Huh? What? I'm fine." He shook his head at the irony of his words as he got up and wandered back into the building.

Skinner remained on the planter, staring into space for several minutes. He couldn't decide if he was sorry for Mulder or envious of him. A little of both, probably. He didn't envy that poor man's life up to this point, but he had a feeling Dana Scully would do her best to improve it however she could.


Mulder peeked his head around their office door. He couldn't help himself, he didn't think he was up to another skirmish today. Luckily, Scully seemed to have left for the day; her desk lamp was off and her computer was dark. He let out the breath he hadn't realized he was holding and went to turn his own computer off. He paused when he saw the little envelope icon signifying unread mail. For a brief moment, he considered leaving the message unread, deleting it, pretending it never existed. He couldn't bring himself to do it, though. His damned curiosity demanded he open it and his damned memory ensured he would never forget it.


Subject: one in five billion

I say I want from you
The bare hot ache of our togetherness-
shaped in skin and lust.
You, a luscious whisper heaving beneath me
splashing into the void of my need.
Me, a sculpture under your worshipful hands
my nude cry soaring into the sky.
I am your masterpiece of flesh and want,
an abstract of desire posed on this canvas of lies.


We'll finish this at your apartment tonight.


Oh, shit.

Mulder looked at the time signature on the header of her email. Fuck, she had sent this nearly a half an hour ago. She was probably setting up an ambush at his apartment even as he stood gaping at his monitor like an idiot. There was no way he was going to let her anywhere near his apartment. He just had to get there before she did.

Chapter Three

7:01 pm

Fox Mulder slammed the door to his apartment behind him and carefully engaged each of the locks, including the chain. He was flirting with the edge of control and he knew it. Not even pausing to remove his overcoat or loosen his tie, he began a frantic inspection of each of the rooms. Hating the shadowy darkness that could hide a million shortcomings, he turned on every light in the apartment as he opened closet doors and kicked through loose piles of clothes and clutter. He even went so far as to look under his rarely used bed. When his search revealed nothing more than his own lackadaisical housekeeping skills, he returned to the living room and closed the blinds with a vicious tug. Even though he knew they were engaged, he checked the locks on the front door again, wedging his desk chair under the knob for good measure. Appalled by his weakness, but satisfied he was secure, he leaned heavily against the door, exhausted. He ran his fingers through his already tousled hair and pressed the heels of his hands against his eyes. He felt pursued, hunted. As well he should.

He had spent the last hour and forty-five minutes fighting the clock to make it to his apartment, his home, his castle, before it could be invaded by the one person who could do so with impunity.

The commute home had been a complete and utter bitch. It was days like today he wished he rode the Metro more often. There had been a late afternoon police chase that resulted in a twelve car pile-up on the Beltway. Traffic was snarled for miles in every direction and on every alternate route. Normally, the nearly two hour delay would have been nothing more than an inconvenience, an annoyance, but tonight it was the final straw in his mental unraveling. With every minute, every second that ticked by, he became more deeply entrenched in his conviction that Scully was planning and executing his ultimate downfall.

He didn't know what his problem was. He wanted her. He should be jumping for joy that she wanted him too, right? A part of him was. That same part was also desperately trying to kick him in the ass for being stupid because another, larger, part of him was loudly and vehemently protesting the loss of control.

That was what was at the root of his hesitation, loss of emotional control. Despite their shared trust and intimacy, they had both kept parts of themselves hidden away, fiercely guarded against the intrusion of the other. And, with few exceptions, they had both respected those barriers. But now even that illusory control was gone and he was completely at her mercy.

And then it hit him. An epiphany. A moment of supreme clarity. At the mercy of Dana Scully was the only place he wanted to be. Slowly, the warring factions in his head quieted and became one unified voice, and that voice was pissed.

'You are the biggest asshole on earth. Unlock the damn door and clean this place up.'


An hour later, Mulder wiped his hands on his jeans and surveyed his apartment. It looked worse than it did before he started cleaning. It wasn't that he was a slob. He was just eccentric, and used to living on his own. If he wanted to do this, he was going to need help. The problem was, this was the sort of thing he usually called Scully about. He looked at his watch in the light cast by the now open blinds. Who else would be home at 8 o'clock on a Friday night?


"Mulder, have you read the latest issue? We've got some killer new information on the JFK assassination from a Cuban contact of Frohike's." Langly and Byers were poking around in the dark corners of his apartment, searching for signs of surveillance devices, and Frohike was assembling a frightening, many-pronged metal apparatus. The Gunmen took their job seriously.

"No, I'll have to pick that up." Mulder rummaged through the five loads of equipment on his living room floor, amazed as always at the amount of classified technology the boys managed to have laying around.

He almost hated to tell them he'd had a different kind of cleaning in mind when he called them. The electronic sweep did need to be done, but there wouldn't be any reason to worry about eavesdroppers if Scully was too disgusted to set foot in his apartment. He grabbed a box from the corner and sat down in front of his pile of nudie movies, intent on getting rid of them.

"I really appreciate you guys coming over to sweep the place, but I also need help with something else."

"Anything." Frohike was in an unusually magnanimous mood having palmed a small picture of the enigmatic Dr. Scully from Mulder's side table.

"Great! I really can't finish cleaning my apartment by myself."

"What?" Frohike nearly dropped his electronic 'sweeping' equipment, appalled at Mulder's request. Actual cleaning? It was ridiculous, it was unnatural. Langly quickly backed up his friend, nodding his unkempt blonde mane in agreement. Only Byers seemed to realize something more was behind Mulder's request. He stayed in the corner, trying to figure out exactly what was going on.

Mulder looked up from where he was boxing up his video collection, "Come on, guys, it's not like I'm asking you to break into a top secret installation or anything."

Langly snorted and crossed his arms over his chest, "Yeah, that would have been fun, at least."

Frohike finally noticed what Mulder was packing away, "Hey, what are you doing with your collection?"

"Boxing it up to give to you." Mulder taped the box closed with a flourish, "I don't want it anymore."

As Frohike and Langly gaped in confusion, Byers spoke up, the satisfaction in Mulder's voice giving him the answers he had been looking for, "This is not an unreasonable request, let's get working." He took off his brown suit coat, hung it on the hook next to the door, and began rolling up his sleeves, "Mulder's got things under control out here. Frohike, you take the bathroom, Langly the kitchen, and I've got the bedroom. If there aren't any cleaning supplies, get them from the van."

After another moment of silent confusion, Frohike and Langly each shrugged and went to inspect their territories. Mulder hefted the box of videotapes and added it to the stack next to the door. Byers stood in the center of the living room, a confused frown wrinkling his brow, "Mulder, do you even have a bedroom?"

Mulder laughed a little, "Through the door next to the bathroom."

"Oh, I thought that was a closet." Byers started towards the bedroom, then turned and retraced his steps, "By the way, congratulations."

Mulder smiled at the serious, quiet man, knowing the sentiment was heartfelt, "Thanks. I knew you'd get it."

"You realize, of course, that you only have about five minutes before the others figure out what's going on?"

"I wouldn't have it any other way." He clapped Byers on the back and returned to de-porning his media collection.

Byers watched his friend for a second before going to examine the bedroom. He was truly happy for Mulder. He and Scully belonged together. They had already wasted too much time and had too many close calls. Life was too short to mess around, you had to grab your happiness wherever you could. He fingered the ring on his left hand, allowing himself the brief luxury of memory. A crash from the kitchen reminded him of his surroundings and his chores. He shook off his sadness with the ease of practice and looked around the room.

It actually wasn't a bad room, but, like the rest of the apartment, there were stacks of files and papers spread over every available surface. There was a laundry basket full of folded laundry next to the door and another of dirty laundry just inside the open closet. It was obvious that Mulder almost never used his bed. It was totally devoid of bedding and covered in empty dry cleaning bags. He was going to need hangers to do this. And boxes. Lots of boxes.

Byers went back to the living room, "Do you have any more boxes?"

Mulder finished dusting the TV screen and turned towards Byers just in time to hear amazed exclamations from the kitchen and bathroom almost in unison.

"Holy shit!"

"Son of a bitch!"

Knowing his friends better than they knew themselves, Byers wisely removed himself their trajectory and stood next to Mulder for the upcoming show. Unaware the other was coming, Langly and Frohike rushed out of the kitchen and bathroom. More amazed than disturbed by his realization, Langly tried to pull up when he realized they were going to plow into each other, but didn't slow down in time to avoid freight train Frohike. Mulder and Byers winced as the others went down in a painful tangle of hair and flannel.

They each scrambled to get up, unknowingly hindering the efforts of the other. Just as Langly got his feet under him, Frohike flailed madly, taking him down again. He landed on top of Frohike with a thud, and laid there, winded, staring at Mulder in amazement.

"Get off me, you stupid hippie!" Frohike struggled impotently under Langly's weight, alternately shoving and cursing.

Finally gaining purchase on the wood floor, Langly hauled himself up and off of Frohike. Before he could say anything, though, Frohike scrambled up and pointed an accusing finger at Mulder, "You...Scully..." Unable to complete his thought, Frohike asked his question with a complex series of leers and rude hand gestures.

"For God's sake, Frohike!" Byers batted at his hands, furtively checking Mulder's reaction to Frohike's oh-so-tactful query.

In an unconscious mirroring of Scully's mannerisms, Mulder's only outward reaction was a raised eyebrow, "Are you actually expecting an answer to that?"

Frohike looked down, ashamed of his outburst now that he had a moment to reflect, "No, I guess I was just...taken aback." He smiled tentatively, "No offense?"

"No blood, no foul."

Frohike swung his head back towards the bathroom, "I'll, uh, just get back to cleaning then."

Before following Frohike back to cleaning, Langly acknowledged Mulder with a slight lift of his head and a murmured, "You and Scully. Kick ass."

Mulder just shook his head at Langly and turned towards Byers, "You needed something. Oh, boxes. There are some in the corner." He pointed in the general direction of the boxes before beginning to dig debris out from under the couch.

10:14 pm

Scully sped up as she passed Mulder's apartment building and noticed the distinctive VW van parked in the street. What the hell were the Gunmen doing there? He knew damn well that she was coming over tonight. She briefly considered going up to his apartment and proceeding with her plan, audience be damned, but common sense decreed she do a bit of reconnaissance before acting on such a rash impulse. She parked her car at the diner down the street, for once grateful for its nondescript light blue Corolla- ness, and hurried down the street, oblivious to the admiring looks she received from every man she passed.

At some point in the past five years, she had noticed that the window in the stairwell of the building across the street from Mulder's looked directly into his apartment. She just had to find a way to get into the building. As luck would have it, someone was coming out just as she was approaching the door. With the ease engendered by years of breaking into places she didn't belong, Scully slipped inside the building and started up the stairs at a rapid pace. She stopped before she reached the fourth floor landing, though. She didn't want anyone in Mulder's apartment to catch a glimpse of her.

As she eased her head around the sill to take a peek, her jaw dropped and she realized she needn't have worried about anyone in the other apartment noticing her. In the living room, Mulder had pulled the couch away from the wall and was vacuuming behind it. Frohike came in from the bathroom area, wearing yellow rubber gloves and carrying a toilet brush. She cringed as he gestured wildly, sending a spray of toilet water angling across the room. She craned her head, just able to see Langly inside the refrigerator, scrubbing. That left Byers. Where was her little bearded friend? Movement from the other set of windows in the apartment caught her attention. There he was. He was...making a bed? She had almost forgotten the apartment had a bedroom. The one and only time she had peeked in there, a stack of paper taller than she was had attacked her.

A little flame of warmth flared to life in her chest. Mulder was cleaning his apartment for her. Despite the couple descending the stairs behind her, Scully couldn't resist clapping her hands together and doing a little happy dance on the landing. She skipped down the stairs and out onto the street, giddy with excitement. When she got back to her car, she realized she didn't want to go home, didn't want to waste anymore time. Instead, she entered the diner and staked out a booth near the windows, ready to make her move the minute the Gunmen left. And to think, she had been seriously considering just throwing in the towel, unwilling to sacrifice their friendship on the altar of her desire. She was so glad he had come to his senses.

Tonight was going to be so much fun.

10:50 pm

Mulder and the Gunmen stood back and surveyed his rented kingdom. It looked like a new apartment. The bathroom gleamed clean and white, the scent of lemon cleanser hanging in the air. The unofficial X- File of Mulder's refrigerator had been excavated and sanitized. It now stood full of both staples and goodies handpicked by Langly and Frohike. The living room, while never as much a pigsty as Scully made it out to be, was neat and tidy, without one stray paper, magazine, or book laying around. The remains of the tape 'X' had been scraped off the living room window and all the windows had been cleaned, inside and out. The change to the bedroom, though, was the most noticeable. Once all of the papers and other flotsam had been removed, it was quite roomy, despite the queen size bed on the center of the back wall. There were nightstands on either side of the bed and a matching dresser against the right hand wall. Byers had found clean sheets in the linen closet and, with a bit of searching, had managed to unearth a navy and green plaid bedspread.

Every square inch of the apartment had been checked, then rechecked for surveillance devices, and the Gunmen now had two dozen new devices to study and defend against. There had even been one in the fish tank, hidden in the lid.

The stage was set, all that was missing was Scully.

"I can't thank you guys enough for your help." Mulder couldn't believe how much paper and how many files he had accumulated almost without his knowledge. Papers and files that were now safely housed in his long neglected file cabinets.

Langly shrugged off his thanks and hefted one of the boxes of videotapes and magazines that were going with them, "My pleasure. Well, not really, your fridge was nasty. Good luck, man." He opened the front door and started down the hallway to the elevator.

Byers finished putting on his suit coat and picked up the second box, "Don't screw this up, Mulder."

Frohike waited until Byers was out of earshot before turning to Mulder, "If you hurt her, I'll kill you." He picked up the last box and turned to leave. As he crossed the threshold, he turned back, "You deserve this happiness, Mulder, don't ever forget that."

Mulder waved a final time, then closed and locked his door. He frowned a bit as he checked his watch. It was nearly eleven, where was Scully? He had thought she would be knocking on his door well before this. On cue, his phone rang, "Mulder."

"It's me."

Chapter Four

From her post in the diner down the street, Scully smiled into the mouthpiece of her cell phone as she waved a private goodbye to the Gunmen's departing van. It was sweet of them to help Mulder out like that. She threw some cash on the table and headed out the door towards his apartment, all the while feeling the sweet implosion of her body begin. If she hurried, she might be able to make it to his door before he realized how close she was.

It's me.

It was funny how so much meaning could be packed into two -- well, two and a half little words. How so much intimacy, so much trust, so much history could be conveyed by five letters. A part of Scully tried to remember when they had become simply 'me' to each other, tried to remember when this specific phone call had become inevitable. It didn't matter, though. All that mattered was the man breathing quickly on the other end of the line.

It's me.

Mulder knew he had to respond, but was struck dumb by the passion she managed to infuse into those small words. As always, the sound of her voice sent a little thrill racing through Mulder, igniting a slow burn of desire deep in his belly. He loved her voice, had loved it from her first prissy words in his basement domain. And now, hearing it deepen with the beginnings of arousal, he felt her crawl into the last little corner of his soul she didn't already inhabit.

"Where are you?" There. He managed a complete sentence.

Scully smiled at the impatience and worry in his voice as she bounded up the stairs to his building as fast as she could in her heels, "That's funny, I got the impression you couldn't get far enough away from me earlier today."


She didn't sound particularly hurt, but Mulder knew he had some major backpeddling to do, "It wasn't you, it was me." He winced at how lame that sounded. Unable to stand still while pop psychology pap was spontaneously erupting from his mouth, Mulder began to pace around his apartment. Living room, kitchen, bedroom, bath. Living room, kitchen, bedroom, bath. "I mean, I had some issues to work through. You took me by surprise and I wasn't prepared - "

"You need to prepare yourself to be seduced by me?" Scully put her ear to his door, keys in hand, trying to pinpoint his location before she went in.

"Yes! No!" Mulder stopped pacing in his kitchen and stared at his now gleaming stove. "You ...I just...Where did you say you were?"

"I didn't." She leaned the doorjamb as she turned off her phone and folded her arms across her chest.

Mulder spun around so fast he nearly lost his balance on the freshly waxed floor. Unconsciously, he kept his phone pressed tightly to his ear, "Hi."

"Hi." Standing here in front of him, some of her earlier certainty fled. What if he didn't want her? Maybe that was why he had kept running away. She searched his face as he lowered the phone from his ear. He was staring at her as if it had been seven months, not seven hours, since he had seen her last. She recognized the passion in his glassy green eyes before she traveled too far down the self-doubt spiral. Her moment of uncertainty left a residue of shyness, though. She glanced down at her feet, meeting his eyes only through the veil of her hair.

Mulder noticed Scully's head dropping, but couldn't get enough air into his lungs to ask her what was wrong. He felt a bit light-headed as blood began draining from his brain to a more southerly location. How could he have forgotten what she was wearing, how she looked today? With what little cognitive ability he had left, he realized she wasn't doing anything but staring at her feet. Had she changed her mind? Was that why she wasn't saying anything? Uncertainty began working its evil magic on his confidence. He lowered his eyes to the floor, staring at some point between the two of them, his expression a mix of hesitation and desire.

Silence stretched between them, rapidly moving from uncomfortable to strained to downright painful. Scully searched for something to say that would breach the chasm quickly forming between them, "Your apartment looks different."

"I cleaned it." Mulder glanced at her without lifting his head, then went back to staring at the vaguely Elvis shaped discoloration on his floor.

Silence again, this time so profound he thought he could hear the ticking of her watch. His field of vision narrowed as he focused all of his attention on the delicate stretch of tympanic membrane deep in his ear, convinced he could hear her heartbeat if he only concentrated hard enough.

Scully waited patiently for him to continue, but it soon became apparent whatever was demanding his attention on the floor was more enthralling than she. Quickly tiring of looking at the top of his head, she turned on her heel and wandered into his living room. She stared blankly at his bookshelves, unable to just pick up and leave, but unwilling to stay and completely abandon her self-respect. She absently ran her finger over the bindings of books both supernatural and earthbound, reading the braille of his varied and brilliant intellect. A tattered black and purple volume caught her attention; she couldn't remember ever seeing it before. She raised her eyebrows at the title. She had never figured Mulder as an e.e. cummings fan. She pulled it out from its slot and flipped through it, hoping for a glimpse into the heart of the troubled man in the kitchen.

His voice from the doorway startled her, "consider O/woman this/my body./for it has/lain/with empty arms/upon the giddy hills/to dream of you,/approve these/firm unsated/eyes/which have beheld/night's speechless carnival/the painting/of the dark/with meteors/streaming from playful/immortal hands/the bursting/of the wafted stars."

She finished the poem from memory, "in time to come you shall/remember of this night amazing/ecstasies slowly,/in the glutted/heart fleet/flowerterrible/memories/shall/rise, slowly/return upon the/red elected lips/scaleless visions."

"I didn't know you had a poetic soul, Agent Scully." Mulder's panic receded a bit now that he saw his ultimate exercise in futility hadn't driven her out the door. When he found her leafing through his copy of "Tulips & Chimneys," he began reciting the poem he had come to identify with his desire for her. He considered it fate she knew the poem well enough to finish it from memory.

"There's a lot you don't know about me, Agent Mulder." Scully smiled a saucy smile as she replaced his book on the shelf, their little impromptu English Lit session somehow erasing her doubts and re-establishing her equilibrium.

Mulder strolled across the room and flopped down on his couch, stretching his arms along the back and crossing his feet on the coffee table, "Not for much longer."

Scully raised her eyebrows at the confidence in his voice and posture, "Oh, really?"

"Well, I thought you said you were up to the challenge. Changed your mind?" He settled deeper in the couch, knowing there was no way she would let his gauntlet remain on the ground.

She was confused for a second, until she remembered her email from earlier in the day. So Mulder wanted her to continue with her seduction, did he? A quick look at his lower body showed the beginning stirrings of his arousal. Scully glanced at the clock on his desk. 11:21pm.

She reached over and closed the blinds with a quick tug, efficiently shutting out the outside world, "I'll never change my mind on this one, Mulder, and I bet I can have you absolutely wild within ten minutes."

Mulder grinned at the thought and accepted her bet with small nod.

Scully bent down, pulled a CD out of her purse, and, with a flurry of button pushing, quickly programmed his stereo to do her bidding. After a moment, a woman began singing a song he didn't recognize, her only accompaniment a distant, rhythmic thumping.

//Especially with my head pounding, and laying helpless on my bed//

Scully stood in the middle of the floor, eyes closed and body swaying. Keeping time with the music, she brought her hands up and unbuttoned the cuffs of her silky shirt. She could feel her heavy pulse begin to beat in time with the song. It pounded through her veins, quietly whispering his name with every pass, igniting her body. Her lids fluttered open and her eyes locked onto his as she softly sang along.

She loved this song, loved this album. There was something about it that resonated through her every time she heard it. She could tell from his face that Mulder didn't know the song. Good, that made it even better.

//I long for you and your expert hands to ease this white heat from my head//

A blues guitar and bass joined the song, and Scully picked up their rhythms with her shoulders and hips, beginning to gyrate and move closer to him.

Mulder pulled his feet off of the table and leaned forward, wanting to concentrate on the effort Scully was putting into his seduction. She was even singing along. After their night in the Florida forest, he knew she thought her singing was less than inspiring, but it had saved him then and it would save him now.

//And you would boast that you knew all the pressure points inside//

She stopped on the opposite side of the coffee table from him and continued her movements. Her eyes never leaving his, she slowly ran her hands down her sides then back up the front of her body to push her hair out of eyes.

Mulder could practically feel the rich smoothness of her shirt under his hands. His palms itched to follow the same path as hers and his erection twitched against the fabric of his boxers at the prospect of touching her.

With shaking fingers, Scully began to unbutton her shirt. Mulder sucked in a harsh breath as she revealed an ever widening expanse of milky white skin made stark by the blackest of lace. He hadn't really expected her to wear the lingerie she had described last night.

//And you could just as easily kill me than ease the desire that I hide//

When she was done unfastening the shirt, she left it on, the two halves hanging open, alternately concealing then revealing as she continued her seductive dance. Scully felt her boldness grow with each passing moment. Forty-eight hours ago, if someone had told her she would be performing a strip tease for her partner, she would've had them committed, but now it seemed the only logical conclusion to the past two days.

//But as your patient I knew that your healing powers had grown//

She reached behind her back and pulled down the zipper of her skirt, content to let gravity take care of it. The knit got caught on her hips, though, and she was forced to push it down with her hands. She straightened as she stepped free of the pooled fabric, slowly trailing her hands up her own legs.

The tail of her shirt hung only to her hips, leaving her legs completely visible to his predatory gaze. Mulder thought he had reached the pinnacle of human arousal, but the sight of Scully's perfect legs encased in black stockings pushed him to the next level. From delicate ankles held captive by tiny, leather straps to the thick, black lace writing a thousand love sonnets on the paper pale flesh of her thigh, every inch of her incited his desire.

//From a sore far, far deeper than this heart of pain was born//

As a harmonica joined the song, she danced back a step. Scully clutched the edges of her shirt and pulled the halves together, her dance becoming more impassioned. She felt his gaze touch her, consume her as their individual desires met and mingled, pulling them inexorably closer. At the thought of so much passion, so much concentration focused on her alone, Scully liquefied, dampening the crotch of her teddy as her body swelled and loosened. Slowly she released her hold on her shirt and moved back towards the coffee table, towards Mulder.

As she passed the table, she pushed the shirt away from her shoulders, finally revealing herself to him. His eyes were dark and drowsy with arousal as they met hers. He held her gaze for a moment before lowering his eyes. Above their cage of black lace, her breasts quivered with the force of her heartbeat. Beneath the teddy's gauzy cover, he could see the taut, reddened skin of her nipples. His gaze traveled farther downward, past the secret undercurve of her breasts, past the vulnerable cage of her ribs, past the flat plane of her belly. The mesh lace covered her entire pubic region with its insubstantial curtain and he could see the vague shadow of red hair between her legs.

She stopped directly in front of him, hips circling to the rhythm of the music. Unable to resist, he put his hands on her waist to draw her closer. She covered his hands with her own and her head dropped back for a second before she moved to step away again.

Unwilling to lose contact now that he had established it, Mulder lowered his hands to her hips and tightened his grip, his thumbs flirting with the border of lace and skin. For a brief moment, their eyes locked in a battle of wills, neither one wanting to give ground. Finally, a compromise was reached.

//With my head again clear I think of words to say to you//

Hands never leaving her hips, Mulder stood and kicked the coffee table out of the way with his foot. For a few seconds, he stood still as she danced under his hands, committing every detail of this moment to memory.

The only light in the apartment came from the table lamp next to the couch. In this dusky half-light, her hair glowed a million different shades of red and gold, the sun at the center of his universe. As they had been all night long, her lambent eyes were locked on his, burning him with their base-of-flame blueness. Beneath the aroused flair of her nostrils, the pink flesh of her full lower lip disappeared between her glossy teeth as she waited for the next part of the verse to begin.

The phantom voice resumed singing and so did Scully, her soft voice filling Mulder's head and drowning out the stronger voice from his stereo. Her slightly off-key rendition of the song was endearing somehow, the yearning and the acceptance in the song emphasized by her wavering voice. Her voice that had issued a hundred 'I'm fine's.' Her voice that had confronted a thousand grasping demons. Her voice that had answered a million midnight phone calls. Her voice that had fueled an infinite number of fantasies. Her voice. Her.

Above the scent of window cleaner and furniture polish, he could smell her. Not the clean scent of her shampoo and soap, but he could smell those Scullysmells too. Not the gentle fragrance of her lavender cologne, though there was a faded hint of that in the air. Not even the rich aroma of her arousal swimming around him like faerie dust. He could smell _her_. The very chemical equation that defined her, that beckoned to him through the alchemy of pheromones released by every square inch of her smooth skin.

Under his hands, the firm softness of her shifted beneath the insubstantial cover of midnight lace, blood rushing to the surface of her skin to sear his palms with heat. More than his palms, his whole body. He could feel the brush of her electric aura over and around him, stirring the nearly invisible coat of fine hair covering his body and exciting his already overtaxed nervous system.

Satisfied with the moment he had memorialized for posterity, Mulder returned to the now, allowing himself to react to the myriad sensations he had just catalogued. How she looked and sounded, the smell and feel of her all crashed down on him, stealing his breath and pushing even more blood down to the erection threatening to tear out the zipper of his jeans. He had handed control of this night over to her and he loved it. Leaving an infinitesimal space between them, he began moving slowly, keeping time to her dance.

//To coax you back to my side, but always leave out 'I love you'//

She raised her hands to his shoulders and allowed him to dance her away from the couch to the center of the room, conscious always of the minute gap between them. To be this close to him, to be held by him when neither of them was injured or upset was intoxicating, more potent than a big, strawberry margarita on a hot summer day.

She soaked up the animal heat of him, absorbing it, absorbing him into her very pores. The urge to let herself go, sink into his arms, and let him carry her to the bed, the desk, the kitchen counter, whatever, nearly overpowered her. Even though she wasn't cold, even though there was a fine sheen of perspiration covering her skin, she felt a chill roughen her skin at the sudden image of the two of them entangled on the faded green leather of his couch.

As quickly as it appeared, the momentary chill was chased away by the heat pooling between them and exciting the molecular tapestry of oxygen and nitrogen and carbon dioxide blanketing the atmosphere of the apartment. It was like dancing in a blast furnace.

Despite her obvious determination to get them both naked and in bed tonight, she could tell he was holding back. Beneath her hands, she felt fine tremors of control racing through his body. Considering the campaign of lust she had been waging, she was impressed by the restraint he was showing tonight. She knew a part of his hesitancy was based on a desire to draw this night out, to stretch the minutes into hours. She also knew her assumption of control had troubled him.

Though the trust that had developed between the two of them over the past five years was complete, there was a small part of himself he kept private, walled off and safe from harm. She had seen glimpses of it over the years; grieving at his mother's bedside, naked and shocky with holes drilled in his head, frantically digging at the grave of a poor murdered girl. Those glimpses made her ache for him, for what he kept bottled up.

Her poor, misguided Mulder. So convinced of her indifference in the face of his insecurity. So convinced of his own inadequacy in the face of her desire. So unsure of himself, of her once she changed the rules.

Whatever had triggered his change of heart this evening, though, had been powerful enough to quiet, if not silence that part of him. Despite his natural tendency to take charge and despite his blatant physical arousal, he was holding back, waiting to follow her lead. And she was grateful for it. His obvious trust and respect gave her the confidence to continue with her seduction.

//And then through my front door the picture of a far away land//

Scully slid her hands down his arms a little and braced them on his biceps, moving forward the fraction of a step necessary to fuse their bodies from chest to knees. They stilled for a moment, stunned by the contact, before slowly resuming their dance.

He couldn't believe her softness. After becoming reluctantly accustomed to her painful slimness during her illness, the yielding of her flesh over his was a shock. From his furtive touches and stolen caresses over the years, he had come to know the tension of her shoulders, the strength of her arms, the warmth of the small of her back, but never imagined she could surround him with supple flesh, envelop him in the fluid embrace of herself.

She couldn't believe his hardness. Not just his genitals, though they were pressing against her stomach with the intriguing promise of later pleasure. No, swaying within the gentle prison of his touch, he seemed bigger, stronger than he ever had. In the past, when turmoil and tragedy had sent them scurrying to the shelter of each other's arms, she had marveled at the strength he kept hidden behind his quick wit and baggy overcoat. Now, that strength was magnified and she thought she could feel the delineation of every muscle group her body touched. She made a mental note to ask him if he'd been working out.

//And to 'with love' on the back and once again I reach for my pen//

With the last melancholy line of the song, Scully curled her hands around the backs of his arms and pressed herself more firmly to him. She wanted to close her eyes and revel in the sensations crashing through her, but managed to keep her eyes open and fixed on his.

When she was a little girl, she had won a kaleidoscope at the shooting range of a small county fair. Bill Jr. had taunted her with his giant stuffed panda, but she spent hours gazing through the cheap paper tube, enthralled by the constantly changing patterns and colors. Twenty-five years later, the swirling pattern of trust and desire and fear in Mulder's eyes held the same fascination for her. The kaleidoscope had been limited, its permutations confined to the finite pattern of shifting plastic. The green-gold-brown shift of Mulder's eyes was infinite.

The CD player whirred to a halt in the corner, leaving the room silent save for their synchronized breathing. He seemed to be waiting for her to take the lead again, so she worked her fingers under the short sleeves of his black tee shirt and began stroking the tender flesh on the undersides of his arms.

Something wild and dangerous sprang to life in his eyes at her delicate caress. Though she barely touched him, the contact completed their circuit, closed their circle, and she gloried in the power arcing between them. She pulled her fingers out from under his sleeves and trailed them down his chest until she reached the hem of his tee shirt. He lifted his arms at her silent command and she raised the shirt as high as she could, the pebbled tips of her breasts brushing his chest as she swayed in her high heels. He finished the task for her, dropped the shirt on the ground, and returned his hands to their post on her hips.

God, he was beautiful. All golden skin and ropy muscle just waiting for her. She had seen him without his shirt countless times in the past, but what a difference desire made. What a difference the absence of blood and tragedy made. She pushed those thoughts out of her mind and concentrated on this moment. On the fading remnants of a summer tan on his shoulders. On the nearly invisible coiling and releasing of the muscles in his arms as they swayed together. On the regular rise and fall of his chest as he breathed.

Scully's hands retraced their path down his chest until they came to rest against the lean muscles of his ribs. Unable to resist the temptation, she raised up on her tiptoes and dropped a chaste kiss on the underside of his jaw. Energized by their spark, uncaring of the short leash his control was on, she prodded him a bit more.

"That was just the appetizer, Mulder. I've still got five minutes and a song I know you'll just love."

Mulder felt his control snap as she stepped back. Using his grip on her waist, he dragged her back, then wedged his hands under her arms and lifted her until they were eye to eye. He didn't say anything, couldn't say anything, but she understood his demand and his capitulation as clearly as if he had shouted them from the rooftops.

However, her options were severely handicapped by the ten inches between the floor and her dangling feet.

With an evil grin, she shrugged as much as she could while being held aloft by his trembling arms and indulged in MulderFantasy #156. Quick as a flash, she wrapped her arms around his neck and twined her legs around his trim hips. Relieved of the awkward burden of her slight weight, his hands automatically dropped to her bottom to catch her. He hitched her up higher to get a better grip and nearly fell over when she helped by shimmying up his body.

Mulder knew this was absolutely not a good idea. His fine motor skills were already in the toilet and his autonomic nervous system was halfway there as well. If he were smart, he'd back up three steps and sit back down on the couch, but there was no way he was going to have sex with Scully for the first time on his nasty old couch. He was just going to have to tough it out and pray that his legs made it to the bed before giving out.

He hadn't taken more than two steps when Scully stopped him by flexing her legs and raising her face up so it was level with his. She shifted her hips infinitesimally, searching for the perfect angle and friction, "So, if I kiss you, will you kiss me back and not just sit there like a bump on a log?"

"I think I can manage a minimal response." He hitched her up again and moved her a fraction of an inch to the left, settling her directly over the ridge of his arousal.

She sighed and pressed herself more firmly against his questing flesh for several seconds. Though loath to abandon the delicious abrasion of denim against lace, she raised herself up again and gently pressed her lips to his.

Mulder remembered May 1977. Disco was king, Jimmy Carter was President, he had just seen 'Star Wars' for the twelfth time, and Caroline Jansen had given him his first real kiss behind a school bus in a hot and dusty parking lot. Caroline had been smart and funny and a genius on the basketball court. During a field trip to Salem, she had pulled him away from a lifeless re-enactment of the witchcraft trials and behind the bus. To his 15 year old hormones, she had been all of Charlie's Angels wrapped in a prepubescent body nearly a head taller than he was. To his broken heart, still grieving the loss of his sister, her brief acceptance of him had been a balm.

Despite the years that had passed, despite Phoebe and Diana and the handful of others who had drifted in and out of his life, Caroline of the feathered hair, her sharp hips pressing him against the hot, dirty yellow of the school bus, had remained the epitome of desire untainted by games and manipulations. Even without the haze of nostalgia clouding his mind, he knew it had been a magic moment, a sensation never to be matched, let alone topped.

Until now.

Though Scully's tenderness lasted only a moment, in the time it took her to thread her fingers through his hair, grasp the back of his neck, and touch her lips to his, the memory of Caroline Jansen was forever supplanted. The vague, inchoate passion and acceptance of a 15 year old was washed away by the hurricane of desire Scully inspired with one soft kiss.

Then the gentleness was gone and he was tossed back into the squall of their passion, the eye of the storm collapsing as the tip of her tongue traced the seam of his lips, seeking and gaining entrance. His own tongue pushed forward to meet it, caressing and twining in a frantic moment of biological urgency before settling into a slow rhythm.

She tasted like coffee and lip balm. Her mouth was warm and felt like home even as she nipped and licked a trail of fire over his mouth, down his cheekbone, under his jaw. Her hands were as restless as her mouth, sweeping over him in broad strokes, gripping his bare shoulders and kneading like a cat, carefully tracing the shell of his ear and the curve of his jaw, tunneling through his hair to massage his scalp. In short she touched him, inside and out, in a way no one had for twenty years.

And he touched her. He touched her with his hands, sliding them under the forgiving lace of her lingerie to test the flesh of her buttocks. He touched her with his voice, moaning and whispering his approvals and his entreaties. He touched her with his mouth, bending her back to taste the skin of her throat and chest. He touched her with his eyes, the barium flame of them warming her more efficiently than the scratchy wool blanket in the back of the Sno-Cat had.

Determined to give Scully back a million times the pleasure she gave him, he began moving intently towards his rarely used bed, trusting his memory to safely guide his feet. His memory, though, had been occupied elsewhere when he had kicked the coffee table out of his way. He caught the edge of his shoe on the table leg and stumbled forwards, saved from ignominiously falling on top of Scully only by the hard smack of her body against the wall.

Chapter Five

He felt the impact in his own body as the wall brought them up short. He tore his mouth away from hers to apologize. "Jesus, Scully, I'm-"

She silenced him with the palm of her hand. "If you say you're sorry, I'll have to shoot you again."

She softened her words with a smile and took advantage of her semi-supported position to work her hands between their bodies. Mulder moved back far enough to give her access to the fly of his jeans. Her strong, competent fingers made quick work of the buttons, pausing to cradle him through the navy cotton of his boxers before pushing the jeans down his hips. He leaned into her awkwardly, kicking off his shoes and shaking his legs out of his pants.

The wall was hard and cold against her back as he danced out of his pants, a marked contrast to the firm, hot Mulder pressed against her front. The back of her head throbbed steadily where it had hit the wall and she could tell she was going to have a bruise in the middle of her back, but she didn't really care. She liked where they ended up. The bed was going to have to wait its turn. She caressed his shoulders with her palms, stopping when she felt a puckering under her hand. With her forefinger, she traced the oddly smooth skin, then leaned forward to kiss the faded scar, her lips and tongue and teeth apologizing for the pain she caused him.

Trailing a wet path up the side of his neck, she abandoned his shoulder for the skin of his throat and jaw. Beneath her lips, she felt his heavy pulse, frantically beating out the rhythm of his life. Unable to resist the savage urge, she pulled a small patch of skin into her mouth, sucking firmly enough to mar the golden perfection of his flesh with a purplish love bite.

He started when he felt the nip of her teeth at his neck. 'That's going to leave a mark.'

Jesus, he hadn't had a hickey since he was a teenager. Mulder reared his head back and she released his flesh with a nearly audible pop and a satisfied smile. He pulled his chin in, trying in vain to see his neck. He caught sight of the smile she was trying to hide. "Proud of that, aren't you?"

Scully stopped trying to swallow her smile and answered him with a crazy little jig of her eyebrows. He laughed with delight at her sauciness and propped her up higher on the wall. He used the tip of his nose to trace a meandering line over her whole face; feeling the pull of tiny muscles in her forehead accustomed to keeping her eyebrow in a perpetual state of inquiry and amazement; following the microscopic glistening of sweat at her hairline down to tickle her ear with puffs of warm breath; tracing the downy skin of her cheek to the softness under her chin then back up her other cheek; brushing over the parchment of her eyelids and wrinkling his nose at the spiky caress of mascared eyelashes. He finished at the perfect bridge of her nose, up one side, then down the other, finally winning a giggle with an Eskimo kiss.

He kissed her smiling mouth, plucking at her lips until her sighs became moans and she squirmed her hips against his, held tight against the inevitable pull of gravity by the hard thrust of his body. He disentangled his tongue from hers and dragged his mouth over her stubborn chin and down her smooth neck.

He was tempted to return the favor and grace her with a matching hickey, but it was easier to hide behind a shirt and tie than those round collared blouses she wore to the office. Instead, he blanketed the fragile skin of the tops of her breasts with worshipful kisses, always stopping at the black lace border of her lingerie. He continued torturing them both for several minutes, luxuriating in her hands in his hair, her flesh under his mouth, her body beneath his.

Sick of the layers of clothing between them, he detoured over her collarbone and, using his tongue and teeth, worked the thin, black strap as far down her shoulder as he could. Limited by its length, the strap stopped halfway down her arm. He tugged at it impotently a couple of times and, if she hadn't been as aroused as she was, she would have laughed at his expression as a little grunt of frustration escaped him. As it was, five years was more than enough foreplay, so, one at a time, she removed her arms from around his neck and slid them through the straps of her lingerie, and returned them to his shoulders.

Mulder watched, awestruck, as the slow, inevitable pull of physics tugged at the clinging black lace. Almost imperceptibly, a fraction of an inch at a time, the lace fell, curling and folding over itself like time, its cover thickening and darkening until suddenly it was gone. He followed its progress past the temptation of her breasts, past the slight indentation of her waist, and down to the curve of her hips where it stopped and pooled, a testament to her decision, her certainty.

He wanted to look at her face, into her eyes, to reestablish the connection they made every time their eyes met, but he couldn't. He couldn't deny himself the greedy pleasure of finally contemplating flesh previously seen only through a haze of fear and panic, tinged blue and rough with cold.

She was beautiful. He always knew she would be, but even his imagination couldn't fill in every detail; the nearly invisible smattering of freckles extending over her ribs, the tiny mole hiding in the shadow of her left breast, the pattern of bumps and ridges traversing her areolae.

Beneath the thin surface layer of civilization, below the translucent veneer of evolution, Mulder felt a vicious surge of emotion. It was desire, but it was a black and fathomless desire, nearly painful in its intensity. It clawed at him from somewhere deep inside, pushing him to take, to conquer, to ravage what she so willingly offered.

He took a deep breath and hid his face in the curve of her neck, holding her tightly, ashamed of his primal urges and his baser instincts in the face of her easy sensuality.

Scully could feel his turmoil in the harshness of his breath, the tension in his shoulders, the sudden restraint in the push of his hips against hers. She didn't know what was wrong, and didn't really care. They were both half-naked and aroused to the point of stupidity, this was not the time for angstful self- doubt. Tightening her legs around his hips, she threaded her fingers through his hair and held him close for a moment before yanking his head up to meet his eyes.

She had expected doubt and had feared regret, but what she saw was passion. Passion for their work, passion for the truth, passion for her. More passion than she thought possible, frightening in its depth and intensity.

Except Scully wasn't afraid.

She could fear for him, for the darkness lurking in the corners of his soul and for the men of power and corruption who orbited around him like constellations, but she could never be afraid of him or his passion. She knew he was capable of an excess of passion; over the years she had seen it periodically consume him, overshadowing all rationality, all common sense. She had prayed that one day he would feel such a surfeit of emotion for her. How like Mulder to hide from her the one thing she wanted more than anything else.

She met his eyes without fear, without regret. In the fluid silence of the room, her anticipatory breathing echoed in harsh counterpoint to his as she reached behind herself to unsnap the crotch of her lingerie and pull it up around her waist. Using her grip on his hair, she pushed at his head, eager for the wet pressure of his mouth against her breast. He resisted for a moment, searching her eyes desperately.

"Whatever you're thinking, Mulder, stop it. I'm here and I'm pretty much naked. Thought is a useless thing right now."

He continued to resist the pressure against his scalp and she sighed in frustration. He obviously needed a more convincing demonstration of her determination and desire. She leaned forward, trusting him to support her, and wedged her hands between their bodies. With a credible leer, she worked her fingers under the elastic waistband of his boxers and shoved them down his hips. Her range of motion hampered by her position, she caressed him awkwardly for a moment, squeezing and stroking his hot flesh. She paused at the damp head of his shaft and collected a few drops of his pre-ejaculate on her fingertips. She brought her arms back up and carefully licked her fingers clean before returning them to his hair.

Oblivious to the renewed pressure on his head, Mulder leaned forward, meeting her lips with bruising force. For a blinding moment, he heard nothing but the swoosh of blood in his ears; felt nothing but the hot surge of passion through his blood; saw nothing but the dream vision of Scully kneeling before his prostrate form, her tongue and lips and hands circling his throbbing cock; tasted nothing but the acrid taste of himself in her mouth.

The moment passed and again he could hear the hungry moans emanating from deep in her throat; could feel the passion zinging between them; could see the flush of her cheeks through the veil of his lashes; could taste the rich flavor of Scully coming to the fore.

Enthralled by her utter acceptance of him, Mulder gave up his struggle for control and allowed her to guide his head down, hitching her higher up on the wall. As he complied with her silent command, the insistent pressure of her hand eased and gentled to a caress, soft fingers tunneling through his hair and massaging his scalp.

Arms hooked under her butt to support her weight, he lavished attention on her breasts, his own arousal nearly forgotten as he happily concentrated on hers. With a delicacy that belied his hunger, he covered the hard peak of her breast with his lips, testing her responsiveness with his teeth, his tongue. With perfect pitch, he followed the solfege of her moans and gasps, nuzzling and kissing the tracery of veins visible beneath her skin, carefully nipping the inside curve of her breast with the sharp edge of his teeth, tracing the flat top of her nipple with the tip of his tongue before pulling it in and massaging it against the textured roof of his mouth.

In the past, Scully had never found her breasts to be particularly sensitive. Oh, being licked and caressed had been enjoyable, but not like this. Not like this pleasure so acute she felt like she'd die of stopped, if he didn't. Mulder began humming tunelessly in the back of his throat, purring almost, transmitting microscopic vibrations through her whole body. With each pull of his mouth, each scrape of his teeth, her hips moved restlessly, pressing and twisting against his solar plexus. Oblivious to its more than ready state of anticipation, her body loosened even more, sending a superfluous wave of moisture to prepare her for his entrance.

Mulder released her breast and moved his mouth up her chest to her throat, loosening his grip to allow her to slide down the front of his body. Scully shuddered a little as she slid down his body, the slow friction rubbing the swollen folds of her vagina against his firm abdomen. With each millimeter gravity pulled her down, Scully felt the herself growing wetter and wetter. By the time she felt the first brush of his erection against the insides of her thighs, she knew some of her wetness had escaped the bounds of her body.

Slowly, she lifted her head from where it had fallen against the wall and opened her eyes. Mulder's eyes were half closed and he was staring blankly at the base of her throat. As she watched, the fine hairs on his body stirred and rose as a sudden chill raced over him. He shuddered once, then raised his eyes to hers.

Though the chill passed quickly, Mulder could still feel the line of dampness on his stomach. In the peppermint blue of her eyes, he saw a desire that matched his own. A desire strong enough to break through the walls between them, a desire strong enough to challenge her natural reserve, a desire strong enough to leave a rapidly cooling trail of evidence on his abdomen.

Scully leaned forward and pressed a soft kiss on his cheekbone, her tongue flicking out to catch the salty taste of his flesh. She strung a line of tiny kissed over to his ear, "Mulder? I think we've had enough foreplay, don't you?"

Scully wriggled her hips until she felt the head of his erection pressing against the folds of her body. Mulder answered her question with a small, reflexive thrust of his hips that pushed him a fraction of an inch inside her.

She sighed into his ear and touched her forehead to his for a moment. She pushed his chin up with the palm of her hand and fastened her mouth to his, pushing her tongue past the barrier of his teeth as she flexed her thighs and lowered herself completely onto his erection with a grunt.

Mulder's groan rattled around inside his chest and up through the top of his head. He pulled his mouth away from hers and rested his head against the wall. The wall was cold and hard compared to the soft heat of Scully surrounding him. Her temple was against his and with each exhalation, her small groans ruffled the short hairs around his ear. Tightening his grip on her hips, he pressed his pelvis against hers, moving a little more deeply into her.

Her hands tightened in his hair and he pulled his head away from the wall. Despite his stinging scalp, he grinned when he saw the slightly dazed expression on her face. Though his whole body was shaking with the effort of restraining his urge to simply close his eyes and pump mindlessly into her, draining himself of every drop of semen, every drop of thought, every drop of life, he managed to hold back.

"Are you coming on to me, Agent Scully?" He pulled out of her a couple of inches, then pushed all the way back in until his pelvic bone thumped against her clit.

Her eyes fluttered closed and she licked the taste of him from her lips. Using the inner muscles of her vagina, she squeezed the length of his cock several times, somehow managing to draw him even deeper inside. He jerked in response and a growly laugh escaped her, "It must be your lucky day, Agent Mulder."

Mulder barked out a breathless laugh and dropped a brief kiss on her lips before beginning to move slowly within her. He moved gently at first, withdrawing until only the head of his penis remained inside her, then thrusting completely back.

This wasn't sex.

Sex was something that could be bought and sold, traded for a myriad of favors and promises. Anyone with lust in their heart and a willing partner could have sex.

This wasn't just making love.

Making love was an act between two people who trusted each other enough to relax down their guard and let each other in. Anyone who loved could make love.

This was something more. The simple evolutionary urge to continue the species had been transmuted by time and pain and trust into something beyond biological, beyond emotional.

And it was fucking great.

Mulder couldn't believe the strength of the sensations coursing through his body. It had been years since he had been touched by a hand other than his own. Admittedly, that had been a dark and desperate act, an attempt to ease the desolation caused by Scully's abduction, but this was unbelievable. He felt as though every nerve cell, every pleasure receptor in his body was singing the Halleluia Chorus. But nothing that felt that good could last. The majestic pace of Handel soon disintegrated into the rapid-fire whirling of "In the Hall of the Mountain King,"and his thrusts became shorter and choppier.

Scully nearly swore with relief when Mulder's rhythm quickened. The long, slow slide of his body deep within hers had been blissful, but the urgency setting fire to her blood demanded a more forceful course of action. Her senses narrowed until her whole universe was composed of this wall, this man. She could see only the insides of her eyelids, awash in a private light show of ecstasy. She could hear only the language of their pleasure, an escalating cacophony of harsh groans and harsher breathing. She could smell only the scent of what they were becoming, their individual scents meeting and mingling to create something uniquely them. She could taste only the vestiges of him, the salty tang of his skin and the remembered flavor of his arousal. She could feel only the sandpaper smoothness of his body against hers; five o'clock shadow gently abrading her cheek, her neck; glossy, damp skin rippling under her hands; sparse chest hair teasing the aroused points of her nipples; the foreign hardness of his penis sliding in and out of her with an increasing fervor.

Mulder knew he was banging her against the wall, he could feel it, but he was past the point of moderating his movements. His fingers bit deeply into the flesh of her hips and the intensity of his thrusts increased even more as he felt his body tighten with the approach of his relentless orgasm. Using his grip on her hips, he angled her pelvis slightly. There was no way he was going to leave her hanging after all the effort she put into getting them into this position in the first place.

She was so close. She could feel the potential energy of her climax growing with each passing second. He tilted her hips a little and that helped, but not enough. He was babbling in her ear, a ceaseless, grunting, stream-of- consciousness chant composed mostly of her name and nonsense syllables. She was about to kiss him to shut him up when her orgasm blindsided her.

She threw her head back, making sharp contact with the wall, and her mouth opened on a soundless wail as the internal contractions raced through her. Her entire body stiffened for a moment and she was suspended, thoughtless, breathless, oblivious to Mulder's heaving form until she was released with a series of wracking shudders and her partner's name on her lips in a shouted prayer.

As her delicate internal muscles began their minute contractions, Mulder felt his own orgasm move from inexorable to imminent. He kept stroking even as her body seized around his, intent on lengthening her pleasure as much as he could.

He gathered her in close as her body quaked with tremors. Ears ringing from her bellowed benediction of his name, his body jerked once, twice more into hers before the force of his climax stole his vision, his breath, his will.

From somewhere in the stratosphere, Scully felt the warm spurt of his pleasure deep inside her. It held her suspended amid the ephemery for a moment, then she was drifting down through the clouds, through the upper atmosphere, through the smog and pollution, through the roof and down the wall --

Down the wall?

Despite the satisfaction clouding her senses, Scully managed to take stock of the situation. Though still held securely in Mulder's arms, they were both slowly heading for the floor as the muscles in his legs gave out. 'Oh, well. As long as it's a gradual descent.'

As they came to rest on the ground, a drowsy lassitude came over her, her body humming with pleasure and surrounded by his strength. His quick breaths fanned out over her shoulder, cooling her overheated skin. She could feel the frantic tattoo of his heartbeat next to her own, lulling her into contentment. She took a deep breath and nuzzled her nose against the side of her neck, drinking in the musky scent of his skin. She pressed a gentle kiss over the pulsing vein in his neck and allowed herself to fall into a light sleep.

Eventually, Mulder's heartbeat slowed enough for him to realize he was kneeling on the floor with a boneless Scully wrapped around him, her damp breath warming his neck. He was tempted to remain in this position, savoring this new sensation of closeness, but his knees soon waged a protest. Painfully, mindful of his dozing partner, he got to his feet. With the movement, his now flaccid penis finally slipped from her body. She sighed a little and snuggled closer into the curve of his neck.

He paused at the door to his bedroom and glanced at his gleaming bathroom. He was loathe to wash the scent of them off his skin, but he thought his more fastidious partner might want to clean up a little. "Scully?"

Scully made a grumpy noise and buried her face in her warm, fragrant pillow. Somehow, Mulder always managed to disturb her in the middle of the most wonderfully decadent dreams. She had been pressed up against the wall and --

He stroked one hand up her bare back, "Scully? Scully, are you awake?"

Holy shit. They had just resolved five years of sexual tension against Mulder's living room wall. Now her mostly naked form was being carried around by his mostly naked form. He was caressing her back and hips with his wonderful, magical hands and kept repeating her name in a soft, tender voice. How could he expect her to be verbal?

Scully groaned a little and pressed a lazy kiss onto his jaw in an attempt to silence him.

"Do you want a quick shower before we go to bed?"

Well, wasn't he just a regular Chatty Cathy? Summoning the frayed strands of her intellect, Scully took a quick physical inventory. She could feel little pools of melted makeup and smeared mascara gathering in the tiny creases of her face, a few strands of hair were sticking to the dried sweat on her forehead, every inch of her smelled like Mulder and sex, and she could feel the inevitable flowback of his semen inching its way down the curve of her ass. She shrugged internally, finding the allure of bed more enticing than getting herself cleaned up. "Sleep now. We can christen the bathroom later."

Mulder laughed softly and crossed the threshold into his bedroom. He set Scully on her feet and held her upright with one arm. He pulled back the covers, then turned his attention to the woman leaning heavily against his side. Her black teddy was tangled around her waist, her stockings were laddered and sagging from the night's abuse, and somewhere along the line, she had lost one high heel. He carefully pushed the teddy the rest of the way down her hips and peeled her ruined stockings down with it. When he got to her ankles he sat her on the edge of the bed and knelt in front of her. He removed her shoe, then the remainder of her clothing. As he stood, he kicked off the boxers still clinging stubbornly to his hips and left them with the pile of her clothes. He scooted a half-asleep Scully to the middle of the expanse of soft cotton and crawled in after her. As soon as he was settled, she sprawled herself on top of him, a warm human blanket.

He wanted to stay awake, to make use of every second they had together, but exhaustion pulled at him, and her warmth was lulling him towards blissful oblivion. He shifted a bit, not used to sleeping in a bed or with another person. Almost immediately, her hands were there, stroking and soothing his cheek, his hair, his chest.

"Shh. 'S okay. Sleep." Her voice was muffled with exhaustion, but held the same concern and worry he had heard dozens of sleepless night before.

He wrapped his arms around her and squeezed her tightly for a second, awed by her unconsciousness desire to comfort, to soothe. He tucked her tangled hair behind her ear and pulled the covers higher up on her shoulders. Unable to help himself, Mulder soundlessly mouthed, "I love you," to the moon dappled room. He knew it was a terribly tacky post-coital move, but the pressure against his diaphragm demanded some type of release.

He felt rather than saw her smile against his chest. She pressed a soft kiss to the skin above his heart and silently repeated his vow.

"I love you."


Disclaimer: Fox Mulder, Dana Scully, and all things X-Files are the property of Chris Carter, 1013 productions, and 20th Century Fox et al.

The song lyric quoted in section 2 is a line from "Crash (Into Me)," off of the album "Crash," copyright the Dave Matthews Band and their record company. I stake no claim to it. Appearing in section 4, "Postcard Blues, " from the album "The Trinity Sessions" is the property of Cowboy Junkies and their record company. I don't own that either.

Nor do I own the movie quotes ("Poltergeist" and "Blazing Saddles") that I use.

The poem in section 4 is "Amores IV" by ee cummings. The poem in section 2, however, is mine, all mine. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing.

Created and maintained by carleton97.

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